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How to get out Flores (Guatemala)

How to get out Flores (Guatemala)

Map of sites around Flores
Map of sites around Flores
  • Guatemala City
  • Tikal - this park is a major attraction in Guatemala, and is located 60 km from Flores. Open: 6AM-6PM (after 3PM arrivals gain free re-entry the following day). Admission: Q150. To avoid crowds and experience the rich wild-life at its best try to arrive around 6-7AM.
  • El Remate ? A small village located 30 km from Flores with a nice, calm and rural atmosphere, and normally less crowded than other places in the area, making it a nice alternative base for those exploring Tikal and the region. All minibuses from St. Elena to Tikal ($1) stop here. However, some large buses ($0.30) only stop at a crossing 7 km from El Remate, so ask first. Taxis are available for US$20 from the airport/Flores.
  • Motul de San José - a small Mayan site just north of San José. Buses, minivans and hired boats operate to the site. The ruin has a few stelae with visible glyphs and a number of vegetation covered mounds.
  • Ixlú is a small Mayan site near the Melchor de Mencos junction on the way to Tikal. It is only of interest to the die-hard fans of Mayan sites.
  • El Peru, AKA Waká, AKA the formerly elusive Site Q, can be seen on a three day trip from Flores.
  • From the top of the temple of East Acropolis of Yaxha you get a beautiful view of Lago de Yaxhá and surroundings
    From the top of the temple of East Acropolis of Yaxha you get a beautiful view of Lago de Yaxhá and surroundings
  • Holtún is a small archaeological site 60 km from Flores on the way to Melchor de Mencos and the Belizean border. A broad, but unmarked path leads to the site. Locals can give directions. The site contains tree and vegetation covered temples. Painted masks adorn the inside of one of the temples, but this part is off limits to tourists (unless you can get a permit from the guard in charge). The part open to tourists also has masks, but these are not as impressive.
  • El Mirador - Flores is the base for tours to the site of the largest Mayan temples, El Tigre and La Danta. This archaeological site deep in the rain forest near the Mexican border is of huge significance and can only be reached by foot and mule train - a five day round trip trek. Expect to pay $150-500 (shop around) for the entire package including guide, food, mules and transport to Carmelita, the starting point. An extra day allows further travel along much of an ancient raised causeway to the ruins at Nakbé, which is around 3.5 hours away and 5 km closer to Carmelita. Any agency in Flores or Santa Elena can arrange tours to these places.
  • Yaxhá is a archaeological site 73 km from Flores on the way to Melchor de Mencos and the Belizean border. 62 km from Flores, just after Holtún, turn off on to the dirt road to Yaxhá (11 km). The site is not as popular as Tikal, but is well worth the trip. In addition, you may find that you are the only visitor, which offers a very different kind of experience from that of wading through the crowds at Tikal. There is ongoing restoration work at the site.
  • As of February 2007, for foreigners there is an entrance fee. Q80 per person. This fee covers Yaxha, Naranjo, and Nakum. The sites are very far apart and without a vehicle, impossible to do in one day.
  • Topoxté is a small site on an island on the west shore of Lago de Yaxhá. It can be reached by lancha (boat), costing around Q100 for the 15 minute journey.
  • Nakum is an impressive site some 20 km north of Yaxhá. From here it is a one day walk to Tikal, but you will need a guide. This site is undergoing extensive reconstruction and has an acropolis that is larger than that of Tikal. You can get there in the dry season with a 4 wheel vehicle. To get here, you will need to pay the entry fee at Yaxha.
  • El Parque Natural Ixpanpajul - a 5 minutes drive from Flores (US$5 by taxi), which has a canopy tour, a walking loop with suspension bridges and, in addition, offers horse riding and camping facilities.
  • Palenque in Mexico. Various travel agencies offer packages to Palenque in Guatemala or varying standards. You can choose to do it independently though, as follows:
  • Neighboring towns - Don't forget that aside from Flores and Tikal, there is more to see and do around Lake Peten Itza, particlarly the locals in some quaint neighboring towns. On the north shore of the lake, just across from Flores are San Andrés and San José. These two lovely little towns boast a similar architecture to that of Flores but set on the side of very steep terrain, which makes for quite a dramatic street stroll with beautiful views of the lake. The people of both towns are very lovely, polite and helpful. Why not come across and have a chat with the locals to practice your Spanish? And if this is out of your lingual reach, you could take intenstive Spanish classes in either town along with culturally enriching home-stays. To get there, just head to the bus terminal in Santa Elena (10 minutes on foot) and wait for one of the very frequent local buses (colectivos). Local buses to and from run between 6am and 5pm, ask at the station for which one to take.
  • Previously Off the beaten path

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    Flores (Guatemala) Travel Guide from Wikitravel. Many thanks to all Wikitravel contributors. Text is available under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0, images are available under various licenses, see each image for details.

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